In our annual partnership with the Vermont Historical Society (VHS) to honor Women’s History Month (March), we’ll present this free evening roundtable discussion, “Women of the Counterculture Movement in 1970s Vermont”. Many of the features that are today considered quintessentially Vermont – politics, local food movements, offbeat culture – have origins in this period.
This FREE round table conversation event will be moderated by director of the Vermont Commission on Women (VCW), Cary Brown and will feature Euan Bear, Bridget Downey-Meyer, Louise Andrews, Melinda Moulton and Verandah Porche, reflecting on what brought them into this movement, what their experience was like, and what lasting impact it’s had on their own lives and on Vermont society. Enjoy stories of this time, and learn through the lens of these women who took part.
Bridget Downey-Meyer – was a member of the Mount Philo Inn from 1969 to 1973, a collective in Charlotte, VT. Her experience includes working with draft resisters to cross into Canada, the establishment of the People’s Free Clinic, and alternative schooling with an emphasis on experiential learning for children.
Louise Andrews – was a member of Earthworks, a commune in Franklin, VT and worked on their alternative newspaper. She participated in women’s conferences and consciousness-raising during this time, and grew as a feminist. She learned about working with animals and growing, producing and eating healthy food while at Earthworks, as well as participating in Unity Players, a political street theatre group.
Melinda Moulton – while working at Harvard with Dr. James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA helix and father of the Human Genome Project, Melinda joined in the antiwar and civil rights protests of the time. She met her future husband and eventually moved into a tent in Huntington, Vermont in 1972, and lived with her infant and partner with no running water, no phone, no TV until they built their own stone house, inspired by Helen and Scott Nearing. She collected 36 truckloads of stone with a baby on her back. Fast forward to the early 80s: She provided the leadership to produce a 25-year incremental redevelopment project for Burlington’s waterfront and pioneered new concepts in environmental and socially conscious redevelopment.
Verandah Porche – with a group of friends from Boston in 1968 she founded a commune in Guilford Vermont called Total Loss Farm, a haven for artists and writers, where she still lives. The farm evolved into a nonprofit, the Monteverdi Artists Collaborative, which hosts residencies, readings, exhibition, and seasonal community events. She’s published three books of poetry, The Body’s Symmetry, Glancing Off, and Sudden Eden, and works as a poet in residence, performer, and a writing partner. She was among the founders of the Brattleboro Women’s Crisis Center and served on the board for 15 years.
Plan to join us that evening, and in the meantime, check out VHS’ multi-year research project on this influential decade in Vermont: http://vermonthistory.org/
To request accommodations in advance of this event, such as seating, interpreting, etc. please contact us at 802-828-2851 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1st.